Nikki Haley wins Republican nomination for governor of South Carolina

Washington, Nov 3 (ANI): Indian-origin woman Nikki Haley has won the Republican nomination for governor of South Carolina, a commanding victory that places her within one step of being elected this fall as the state's first female governor.

According to The New York Times, if elected, Haley would reportedly become the first member of a racial minority to be governor of South Carolina. She overcame allegations about infidelity in her marriage, ethnic slurs and questions about her religious background, in her quest for a top political office.

While delivering a victory speech to supporters in Columbia in South Carolina, Haley said: "This is a really great night because South Carolina just showed the rest of the country what we're made of."

Thirty-eight-year-old Haley rose in the polls by promising to break an entrenched network that has dominated state politics for decades and portrayed the unsubstantiated charges of sexual affairs as retaliation for taking on special interests.

In the general election, she faces the Democratic nominee, Vincent Sheheen, who won his primary on June 8. Republican candidates in South Carolina hold a considerable advantage in the general election, and even Democratic leaders in the state concede that something unforeseen would have to unfold for Haley not to win in November, the paper said.

Last month, Haley took a dramatic leap in the polls after endorsements and campaign visits from Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor, and Jenny Sanford, the popular former first lady.

She had trailed far behind her three Republican rivals in fund-raising and visibility, but she was strongly embraced by Republican leaders in Washington and touted as one of the party's next leaders.

Nick Ayers, executive director of the Republican Governors Association said: "Nikki Haley's historic victory in South Carolina is a testament to her hard work, perseverance and determination. Her success ushers in a new era of South Carolina politics and represents a growing new generation of Republican leaders from across the country." (ANI)

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